The National Academies of Sciences – Gulf Research Program (NAS – GRP)
DWH Project Funding
Known Leveraged Funding
Funding Source: BP and Transocean
Controlling Document: Guilty Plea Agreement between BP and U.S. Department of Justice, Guilty Plea Agreement between Transocean and U.S. Department of Justice
Year Awarded: 2016
Oil spills bring significant negative impacts to the food web in marine ecosystems. Although there have been numerous studies looking at the impacts of oil spills on higher levels of the food web, there is comparatively little research on microscopic organisms such as phytoplankton. Dr. Huilin Gao will use a combination of in situ observations, state-of-the-art remote sensing, and physically based, spatially distributed high-performance modeling approaches to investigate the interactions between phytoplankton and oil in the marine ecosystem. Dr. Gao’s research will provide a better understanding of the role phytoplankton play in altering oil compounds, which phytoplankton functional types are most affected by oil spills, and which functional types are most likely to aid oil decomposition.